We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A daughter visiting from LA helped me work the garden today, and decided to make a tart for her friend. Crust from scratch, of course. That's a BD family specialty- flakey pie crusts.
Rhubarb tarte is amazing, in my opinion. We grow good rhubarb here. I took it from my Mom's rhubarb patch when she died. Rhubarb takes minimal care, grows like a weed but does not spread. Just a pile of cow manure on top in early Spring.
No fair braggin' on family heirloom recipes without sharing them with us test chefs. It's a rule. Otherwise we take a vote on the motion that your snooty pie crust tastes like equal parts shredded cardboard and sawdust, with a cow pie binder.
Peel and chop 5-7 apples. I like Granny Smith. Mix with ¼ cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar,then juice of lemon or lime. Add spices to taste: (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, for example. I go for cardamom and nutmeg, but that's your choice.)
Put in 8X8 baking dish.
Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt. Mix in 2 TB butter, then egg. Blend together with fork or whisk. When blended together, throw on apple mixture. Sprinkle ¼ cup water over all.
Bake 50-60 minutes until crust is brown.
My variation on the crust:
Mix 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/3 cup four, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder.
Add 2 TB oil, 1 egg and mix. Add egg-oil mixture to dry mixture. Blend together w fork or whisk. You may add up to 1/3 cup flour to get slightly crumbly texture. When blended together, throw on apple mixture. Sprinkle ¼ cup water over all.
I also left out the 1/3 cup sugar to apples- but would definitely need to keep sugar in for rhubarb. Your choice.
This can be a generic cobbler recipe- peaches, rhubarb, blueberries, what have you.
The temperature and time cooking may need some tweaking. My grandmother's recipe said 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Didn't work for me or my sister. Rule of thumb- done when the crust is brown.
My 2 cents.
When I was a kid I learned to make pie crust with Crisco. Later as a young adult a good cook showed me that lard would make a more flaky crust. Years later I began to think Crisco and lard were not good for you so I used butter (yeah I know butter isn't supposed to be good either but I do love butter). But butter just doesn't work as good as lard. So the same lard I use for refried beans goes into my pie crust.
A few years ago we had some pie at the office and one person was much more sensitive to the oxalic acid than the rest of us. Since that time I've considered whipped cream or a glass of milk to be an important part of any rhubarb treat.
Spent the day fencing my peach trees. The Deer have a special talent for knowing when they start to get ripe so I beat them to it this time. Hope it works!! Nothing better than peach cobbler IMHO. Dewberries won't be long in ripening as well. Going to be a tasty summer if it all works out
Ron Snyder, I meant when using butter, which usually yields a tougher crust. You can do it the old fashioned way if you're using lard or fat or crisco or margarine, and it's flaky regardless, but I'd rather eat butter.
Apologies, I erred in inferring your meaning. As kids, it was a joy watching Mom making pies, bread and most everything else from scratch. I'm not sure what Crisco wasn't used in. We picked rhubarb from many places in the neighborhood, raw it was an acquired taste, and also sassafras to enjoy the aroma and chew the leaves.
Rhubarb here already shooting out "blossom" stalks which we will remove. We do a rhubarb strawberry crumb. Mix equal parts of rhubarb and strawberries in a greased baking dish (I grease with butter). Mix up your crumb - equal parts of butter, brown sugar, and rolled oats. Mix a bit of the crumb with the rhubarb and strawberries. Top the fruit with the rest of the crumb. Cover and bake at 325 until bubbling. Then remove the cover and let brown.
Grandbrats really love this. The strawberries mitigate the tartness of the rhubarb.
Alas rhubarb is one of the few plants I have lost by moving to the mediterranean. They peter out after 2-3 years due to the heat and limestone. Same thing happens with peonies and a few other US garden favorites.